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Crime Prevention

Halloween Safety
Pointers for Parents

Halloween may be a fun holiday for kids, but for parents trick or treat time can be a little tricky. Concerns about children’s safety – whether they are out in the neighborhood or back home with bags of booty – can darken the day more quickly than a black cat. But not to worry! To make Halloween a treat for all, please follow these safety tips:

Make sure your children dress up safely!

  • Check that costumes are flame retardant so the little ones are not in danger near burning jack-o-lanterns and other fire hazards.
  • Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls, and other bumps in the night.
  • Try make-up instead of masks. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable and more importantly, they can obstruct a child's vision - a dangerous thing when kids are crossing streets and going up and down steps.
  • Make sure kids wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.
  • Avoid hard plastic or wood props such as daggers and swords. Substitute with foam rubber that is soft and flexible.

Dressed Up and Dangerous

Halloween and blood and gore are harmless stuff for the most part. But sometimes dressing up as a super hero, a swashbuckling pirate, or an alien from outer space -- coupled with the excitement of Halloween -- brings out aggressive behavior. Even fake knives, swords, guns, and other costume accessories can hurt people. If these objects are part of a child's costume, make sure they're made out of cardboard or other soft flexible materials. Better yet, challenge kids to create a costume that doesn't need "weapons" to be scary and fun.

Make Trick or Treat Trouble Free

  • Adults should accompany young children.
  • Make sure older kids trick or treat with friends. Together, map out a route so parents know where they will be. Tell them to stop only at familiar homes where outside lights are on.
  • Try to get your kids to trick or treat while it's light out. If it's dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and pick well lit streets.
  • Make sure kids know not to enter strange houses or cars.
  • Watch for traffic.
  • Carry a cell phone if possible for any emergency that may occur.
Consider This
Parents and kids can avoid trick or treating troubles entirely by organizing a Halloween costume party with treats, games, contests, music, scary stories, and much more. MAKE YOUR HALLOWEEN PARTY A PLACE TO BE. Schools, fire departments, libraries, or civic groups in many communities organize "haunted houses" and other Halloween festivities for families.
  • Kids need to know not to eat their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging in while they are still out is to feed them a meal or snack beforehand.
  • Examine all candy at home in a well-lighted area before allowing the kids to eat it.
  • What to eat? Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Don't forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies or anything suspicious. By all means, remind kids not to eat everything at once or they will be feeling pretty ghoulish for a while!

Halloween can be a lot of fun for parents and kids alike -- if everyone remembers the tricks and treats of playing it safe.


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